One (often overlooked) role of the church is to develop the talent of its team members, both paid and volunteer. If people are investing their time and energy into the ministries of our church, but aren’t leaving each week more equipped to do what they care about and to live out the dreams God has placed in their hearts, we are doing a disservice to them and the Kingdom.
Of course, “developing talent” is much easier said than done.
So, how do we make sure we’re equipping our team members to do their jobs well (both inside and outside the church)? Here are five things I think can help point any team in the right direction.
1. Honest appraisal of the team and individuals on the team.
It’s easy to go one of two ways with this one. The first direction is denial—assuming every team, and every member of that team, has unlimited capability and capacity, and that no matter what happens, everything they do or produce will be great. According to this perspective, teams and people don’t need training or mentorship or leadership. They’re like a well-oiled machine. They’re just self-propelling.
This idea, although untrue, is easy to adopt because ignorance is bliss, right? If we don’t see problems, we don’t have to deal with them.
The other direction you can go with this idea, however, is to assume your teams, or the individuals on your teams, are somehow incapable of living up to your standards, no matter the training or mentorship or leadership you provide. What you really need are more talented team members, you tell yourself.
This evaluation might feel true at times, but ultimately leaves the responsibility on the shoulders of a few and never accesses or develops the true talent of the others on your team.
In order to develop the true talent of your teams, you must start with an honest evaluation of their skills.
2. Clearly defined growth goals … both personally and as a team.
No matter how talented (or underdeveloped) your team members are, there is always room for improvement. But none of us can really improve unless we know what we’re aiming to become.
Does each team, and each member of the team, have a clearly defined goal they are trying to meet?
If not, growth will rarely be realized.